We often get asked what made us think of doing PACMAT?
We've always been into outdoor activities and sports. After our kids were born we carried on with our outdoor pursuits, taking them with us. Living within a budget, picnics were most practical for a family of four out and about (especially with two ants in pants toddlers).
Our youngest, who has since been diagnosed as ASD, was always fussy about textures. He particularly didn't like snow. Everywhere we went, we had to take a picnic mat.
Picnic mats then were bulky and with two small kids we had enough 'stuff' to carry as it was. And, ineveitably they got dirty and weren't able to be machine washed. We got through quite a few. We hated the thought of a disposable product. We also tried using a tarp, an idea we got from a mountain guide friend, but because of the cold uncomforble texture, the kids didn't like it.
Having a keen interest in hiking, ultramarathons, ski touring etc. Guy has always been a bit of a gear geek. Reading reviews, choosing items carefully for a balance of function and asthetics. All of his sports gear packed down into tiny stuff sacks.
It was on a trip to Dartmoor visiting my parents when we had the thought... why can't we combine the technical features of sports gear to a picnic mat? It had to be light, comfortable, easy to wash and waterproof. Excited by the idea (we couldn't find anything else on the market like it), which could combine our interests and skills (Guy's background as a publisher, mine as an art director with a degree in Marketing and Design AND our love of the outdoors with our kids). After lots of research and prototyping we came up with the Family Original PACMAT®.
This was received really well. In 2017 we partnered with Ordnance Survey and produced our first batch of OS PACMATs. It only made sense that our first full production run of Ordnance Survey Map prints included Dartmoor, where we can see all of our favourite walks from my parents old house whilst munching on our sandwiches.
Six years later, from our very first PACMAT®, we have lots of designs and sizes and we've loved every minute of being involved in the outdoor industry. Our kids have grown up on PACMATs, literally.